First-year tight ends coach Tyson Helton leads a talented
group of players that will be looking to find the endzone at Raymond James
Stadium in Tampa Saturday night.
Senior Blake Annen leads the group, followed by freshman DJ Dowdy. In the future, Travis Johnson (who is from Tampa's Jesuit High School) and Tyler Cogswell will be looking for passes along with junior Josh Russ.
I tracked down Coach Helton in the football office at the Lindner Center and spoke to him about his players, the USF game and his brother, Clay.
For those that don't know, Clay Helton is Southern Cal's offensive coordinator and will call plays now with the dismissal of Lane Kiffin. Clay and Tyson's father, Kim Helton is a coaching veteran who actually coached in the Tampa Bay area years go with the Buccaneers.
UC fans may remember him more from his days as head coach of the University of Houston from the old Conference USA/Rick Minter days.
Here's Tyson who will likely make a fine head coach someday himself:
The trying week for the Bearcats football team and university family teaches one life's hardest, unforgettable lessons.
Written by Scott Springer
Austen Jack Bujnoch has a five-year history with the Victory Bell and even more when you factor his brother Digger's tenure as a UC Bearcat.
After Digger had played his last snap here in 2007, Austen was the top lineman in the Greater Catholic League-South for Elder in 2008. The Panthers were the Division I Ohio runners-up that year.
He came to UC in 2009 under Brian Kelly and redshirted, so his time on the field didn't actually start until after the Bearcats played Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl.
However, for our purposes, we count 2009 as the "Austen era" which makes him 4-0 in Victory Bell games against Miami going into Saturday's trip to Oxford.
With Austen Bujnoch wearing a C-Paw logo, the Bearcats have outscored Miami 161-30.
Yeah, it's not near as competitive as it was.
I can recall (as I mentioned to Coach Tuberville) the Ben Roethlisberger years where Gino Guidugli, as good as he was, couldn't lead UC over Big Ben.
As the stats show, UC has won the last seven. For a better appreciation of that, you probably need to know that in 16 games from 1990-2005, Miami won 10 and tied one with UC winning only five.
As a matter of fact, Austen Bujnoch (as he describes in the video) witnessed the last Miami win in this series in 2005 when Digger was on an extremely young squad that Mark Dantonio had recruited. Many of those players had great careers and some are pros, but they took it on the chin that night, 44-16.
(For your extra trivial nugget, the TV sideline reporter that night was Heather Mitts. I remember such things.)
Austen was one of several Bearcats slated to speak to the team on the history and importance of the rivalry. Before he addressed the team, I caught up to him outside of the fabled Bob Goin team room.
"When you grow up with your grandmother, you are kind of protective of her. You grow up with her as a mom and a dad and her age is something that plays a big role. I'm a 'grandmother's boy,' I'm not a 'mama's boy.' I love her with all my heart, man. I'm so happy she gets to come to my home games and see me play."
Written by Scott Springer
Like every University of Cincinnati Bearcat, Chris Moore was affected by the injury to quarterback Munchie Legaux in the road game at Illinois.
We'll never know what might have been had Legaux's third quarter touchdown been allowed to stand. At 21-17, it clearly would've been a momentum changer. Instead, the game went from a four-point deficit to 18 points as the Illini were able to march down 99 yards to further their lead.
Then, there was the injury and we all know what happened from there.
For any of you that were in Memphis for the Conference USA basketball tournament when Kenyon Martin broke his leg (I was and remember it like it was yesterday) the Legaux injury had a similar effect. Though the Bearcats were the better team, they couldn't regroup quick enough to stop the opposition.
There's no bright side to what happened. However, there are some things to learn from and some points to consider.
Now at quarterback is Brendon Kay.
A year ago, Kay was the No. 2, which meant he took practice reps with the No. 2 receivers. One of those was Chris Moore.
The camaraderie and chemistry that came out of that, resulted in a 65-yard touchdown against Temple last year. In the opener against Purdue, Kay and Moore also went long for 51 yards, the longest reception of the season.
Chris Moore runs the best deep route on the team and has a connection to Kay that can't always be explained other than you don't mess with what works.
It's kind of like the pitcher that is lights out with a certain catcher and so-so with anyone else. Kay to Moore is special and you shouldn't be shocked to see more of that sometime soon.
As always, after the Coach Tuberville luncheon (featuring City BBQ and including a delightful peach cobber ordered by newly reinstated Ryan Koslen) I hung out in the hall to snare an interview.
The product of my lurking this week is Mr. Moore, the pride of Jefferson High in Tampa. As it turns out, one of his high school teammates is a Northwestern State Demon.
Here's No. 15: